Tifton Gazette

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February 9, 2014

Lady Panthers lead region heading into senior night

TIFTON — The Tiftarea Academy Panthers and Lady Panthers have kept the road hot leading from Chula. Both teams have played three region games and one non-region game in the last week leaving the Lady Panthers on top of Region 3-AAA heading into the final games of the season.

Starting five seniors, the Lady Panthers defeated Albany’s Deerfield-Windsor Lady Knights by a score of 46-42. Mike Patrick’s team outscored the Lady Knights in both quarters of the final half with Neeli Fortson leading the team with 17 points and Ali Rippy following with 9 points. Jarrett McWhorter and Caitlyn Albritton added 8 points each.

The Lady Panthers fought their way to a victory in Americus against the Southland Academy Raiders on Monday night with a 51-36 win with Jarrett McWhorter scoring 16 points, Rippy with 12 and Fortson adding 10 points. MacKenzie McWhorter pulled down 6 rebounds for the Panthers.

The next night found the Lady Panthers back on the road to Thomasville against Brookwood. The Tiftarea team handed out another loss to their opponents as they came away the victors with a 46-39 win. Fortson led the scoring with 14 points, freshman Macy Strenth had 9 and Jarrett McWhorter added 7 points.

Finishing the week off with a 49-25 win over Sherwood Academy, Patrick’s Lady Panthers head into next week in the top position in their region with a 4-0 region record.

Coach Dan Henderson’s Panthers had two hard fought games of their own against region opponents Deerfield and Southland but weren’t able to add to their winning record in those games. They came away with a solid victory later in the week against Brookwood with a score of 69-57. Taking their overall record to 13-10 with a 2-2 region standing, the Tiftarea team lost a close game in Albany Thursday night with a 50-46 score against the Sherwood Eagles.

The Tiftarea teams will play region rivals Southland Academy for Senior Night Tuesday with ten seniors between the two Chula teams. Henderson’s Panthers mirror the Lady Panthers with five seniors themselves with Rob Flick, Christopher Gravitt, Josh Hancock, Taylor Folsom and Sam Tucker.

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